Shrimp and Noodle Salad with Ginger Dressing

I’d be in such heaven right now if I hadn’t sworn myself off carbs until around the 10th of never. I’m a sucker for any Asian inspired salad, and this one has all of the ingredients that tickle me pink – shrimp, pasta, cilantro, and a salty teriyaki dressing. But after the Molten Brownie Pudding incident from a few days back – well, no carbs for me. Don’t ask, I don’t want to talk about it.

Despite my carbohydrate sabbatical, I had to make dinner tonight. The DamFam demands it – some noise about being famished after a hard day at school, work, and blahbitty, blah blah. What a lot of nerve they have. I’m kidding of course! I live to serve! It’s just that no crabs makes me carbby. I mean, no carbs makes me crabby. And a bad typist.

Anyway, I’ve had this recipe in my ‘must try’ file for quite a while now, and with the hot and sticky weather this week, it seemed like the perfect time to give it a try. So glad I did – and I’m keeping this recipe around for when things REALLY heat up this summer! The only cooking involved is boiling a smallish pan of noodles (and grilling the shrimp if you go that route). There’s minimal knife work involved, so it couldn’t be easier – and the dressing is TDF!

We had a big bowl of edamame and some potstickers on the side. I highly recommend this easy weeknight meal to anyone who’s not on carb restriction. It’s carb-o-licious. Enjoy! Happy Wednesday!

SHRIMP AND NOODLE SALAD WITH GINGER DRESSING
Serves: 4 -6
Source: foodandwine.com, recipe by Grace Parisi

7 oz. dried udon noodles or fettucine (fettucine broken in half; Creamette pastas are on sale)
12 oz. shredded coleslaw mix
2 scallions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 c. chopped cilantro leaves
¾ lb. cooked medium shrimp, halved horizontally (Censea Cooked Shrimp are on sale, as are Sendik’s raw Shrimp Skewers, *see note*)
¼ c. teriyaki sauce (the thin kind; I used Kikkoman)
2 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
½ t. Chinese chile-garlic sauce (or more to taste)
¼ c. plus 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
Salt
Lime wedges, for serving

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente. Rinse and drain under cold running water. Pat dry and transfer to a large bowl. Add the coleslaw mix, scallions, cilantro, and shrimp (*); toss to combine (I find using my hands works best here).

Meanwhile, if you’re using the shrimp skewers, preheat your grill. Grill the skewers for 2 ½ minutes per side, or until cooked through. Slide shrimp off the skewers and allow to cool slightly.

In a blender, combine the teriyaki sauce with the ginger and chile-garlic sauce and puree until smooth. With the machine on, slowly add the vegetable oil in a thin stream and puree until the dressing is emulsified. Season lightly with salt. Add the dressing to the bowl with the udon noodles and toss well. Serve the noodle salad with lime wedges on the side.

*NOTES*

I used four of the sale shrimp skewers because I’ve always wanted to give them a try. I liked them a lot. If you go this route, 1). of course, don’t halve them horizontally. That would be silly; and 2). add them to the salad at serving time. Their teeny little tails end up getting charred on the grill, and black flecks ended up in my salad. Not the end of the world, but not all that attractive either. Hear me now, don’t be like me. Put ’em on top. At the end. Amen.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | May 28th, 2010